Eric Cazdyn Visit

Eric Cazdyn, Professor of Cultural and Critical Theory at University of Toronto, will visit for a lecture and graduate seminar on February 7 and 8.

10 January 2013


Thursday, February 7, HC L-3, at 3:30 pm
"'1, 2, 3, 4...There's No Future Anymore': The Image and Political Desire"
Today more than ever we are desperate for images to save us. To save us from the horrors of the past. To save us from the crimes of the present. To save us from the threats of the future. But it is precisely this desperate desire to be saved by the image that disables the image and turns it into a set of handcuffs--which is to say that our desire for the image to save us from crisis (from State repression, from corporate corruption, from cancerous tumors, from natural disasters, from the emptiness and boredom of everyday life) functions to compromise our desire, to compromise our desire to think and feel and act differently. How, then, can we liberate the image from our desires? And our desires from the image? Theorizing a variety of images (from news footage, Hollywood, documentary, experimental film, surveillance, new media, and medical imaging), I will speculate on what might be called a "praxis image"--and how such an impossible image flashes a radically different future.


Friday February 8, HC 3-95 (Salter Reading Room), 3:30 pm
"The Already Dead: Crisis, Time, Future, Death, Impossibility, Representation, and Post-Human Affect"
In this seminar we will focus on the ideas of The Already Dead. Instead of beginning with this book, however, I will begin by reading from another work of mine (A Thousand Non-Coincidences) that attempts to translate the ideas of The Already Dead into a different kind of writing, experimental prose. A Thousand Non-Coincidences is set in the near future and is a highly formalized narrative that combines the problem of psycho-political revolution with the main issues raised in The Already Dead, namely crisis, time, future, death, impossibility, representation, and post-human affect. This should set us up for a lively discussion of these concepts and how they are mobilized in The Already Dead as well as in the work of the seminar participants. Students interested in participating in this seminar should send a request to Kris Calhoun ( or Elena del Río ( (For seminar participants: some familiarity with The Already Dead is best, but not essential).

Eric Cazdyn is Professor of Cultural and Critical theory at the University of Toronto. He is the author of The Already Dead: The New Time of Politics, Culture and Illness (Duke, 2012), After Globalization (with Imre Szeman, Wiley-Blackwell, 2011), The Flash of Capital: Film and Geopolitics in Japan (Duke, 2002); and editor of Trespasses: Selected Writings of Masao Miyoshi (Duke, 2010) and Disastrous Consequences (SAQ, 2007). Recent book chapters have been published in Renewing Cultural Studies and The Oxford Handbook of Japanese Cinema. Recent articles on the relation between aesthetics and politics, psychoanalysis, film, Marxism, Buddhism, globalization, and Japan have been published in Modern Language Quarterly, South Atlantic Quarterly, Social Text, Japan Forum, Alphabet City, Prefix, and the Review of Education/Pedagogy/Cultural Studies. He has recently completed a novel entitled A Thousand Non-Coincidences and has made a series of experimental music-videos for Constellation Records. Cazdyn is currently on a Mellon New Directions Fellowship pursuing an interdisciplinary project called "The Worldly Clinic."